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Beauty in Belmont by, Delleny Molisani

Adams MVP, Wellsville Lions girls’ basketball captures Cowanesque Valley tournament; IAABO boys tourney story and photo

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By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com

Cowanesque Valley Tourney Championship: Wellsville 26, Northern Potter 21

WESTFIELD, Pa. — After a tight battle that saw them edge out North Penn-Mansfield to begin their weekend below the border and away from home, the Lady Lions of Wellsville propelled their way into the Championship. An opportunity to come back home with four straight wins in their back pocket.

Like the first round battle that they had, they were in for yet another hard-fought battle straight down to the wire with Northern Potter to decide it all.

Despite a fourth quarter rally to turn the heat up on the Lady Lions down the stretch, it would not be enough for Northern Potter to overcome, as Wellsville used a big first quarter run to establish their lead and hang onto it, claiming the tournament crown at Cowanesque Valley with their fourth straight win to start the season in another defensive victory, 26-21 on Saturday.

Averee Palmatier, left, was all-tourney and Natalie Adams MVP

Wellsville (4-0) acted quickly in the opening frame on both ends of the floor in dominant fashion, as they held Northern Potter straight off the scoreboard while connecting with an 8-0 run to grab the first advantage of the game. The Lady Lions would hold onto it continuously all throughout, leading up to a fourth quarter where Northern Potter presented their final chance to chip away at their deficit.

Despite an 11-6 outscoring of the team in black and orange, the Lady Panthers could not finish off their rally in time, as the Lady Lions held on in another defensive battle to record the victory and the tournament’s title.

Averee Palmatier was awarded an All-Tournament nod for her efforts across the two-day trip down below the border, as she posted nine team-high points. Natalie Adams was named MVP, as she posted eight points to go with eight steals, while Makenna Dunbar had five points to couple alongside six rebounds and four steals. In addition, Jaden Dunbar grabbed five more rebounds off the glass.

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

In the JV Championship game, the Lady Lions fell to the hands of Northern Potter by a 34-21 count. Lydia Kaye led all scorers with eight points.

Up next for Wellsville is a return home on Tuesday, as they begin preparations for a 6 p.m. tip-off in the Lion’s Den against Pioneer.

Wellsville 8 4 8 6 – 26

Northern Potter 0 4 6 11 – 21

WELLSVILLE: Caelyn Stevens 1 0-2 2, Natalie Adams 3 0-0 8, Averee Palmatier 4 0-0 9, Makenna Dunbar 0 5-6 5, Jaden Dunbar 1 0-0 2. Totals: 9 5-8 26.
NORTHERN POTTER: Haylee Chapman 2 0-0 4, Molly Cady 1 0-0 2, Kayden Brown 0 0-2 0, Lillian Steele 2 2-2 6, Emma Haynes 4 0-0 8, Reagan Slawson 0 1-2 1. Totals: 9 3-6 21.
3-point goals: Wellsville 3 (Adams 2, Palmatier).
Total Fouls: Wellsville 8, NP 11. Fouled out: None.

Hammondsport 54, Andover/Whitesville 25

HAMMONDSPORT — Nearly dead-even playing ground was constructed right out of the gate Saturday afternoon in Hammondsport, as the host Lady Lakers and visiting Andover/Whitesville traded back-and-forth pleasantries across a first quarter that saw a narrow lead for one team develop going into the next frame.

With the momentum in hand, the Lady Lakers would take full advantage of it to capitalize on a big second quarter to push their lead out over Andover/Whitesville insurmountably. Danica Dresser was a big reason behind some of that big success that Hammondsport was able to muster, scoring 18 game-high points, as they went on to march towards a 54-25 win.

Propelled by a pair of buckets from both Grace Fry and Olivia Waters, Andover/Whitesville (1-3) was able to keep pace right alongside Hammondsport across the first quarter — a frame that saw the Lady Lakers, behind Dresser, take the narrow 13-10 lead going into what was a massive second quarter run the hosts would make.

Five different Lady Lakers would all record at least a single basket to ignite the offense on all different angles, including a three-ball each from both LaZell Locey and the second of three triples from Sam Pratt, as the Lady Lakers accounted for a 20-8 run of the visitors in black to put the pedal down to the floor on a 33-18 halftime lead.

If there was any doubt regarding their advantage going into the second half, none would remain after the third quarter behind their stout defensive showing, holding Andover/Whitesville to just one point in the midst of their 11-1 run to further cement the victory for good.

Waters was Andover/Whitesville’s leading scorer at the end of the battle, posting 11 team-high points. Following behind was Grace Fry, who concluded with six points, while Makaila Brewster and Graci Lewis-Ellison rounded off the scoring with five and three points, respectively.

On Monday, Andover/Whitesville will hop back on the bus and head for the Reilly Center on the grounds of St. Bonaventure University, where they will get ready for a 5:45 p.m. tip-off slated against Arkport/Canaseraga.

Andover/Whitesville 10 8 1 6 – 25

Hammondsport 13 20 11 10 – 54

ANDOVER/WHITESVILLE: Graci Lewis-Ellison 1 0-2 3, Grace Fry 3 0-2 6, Makaila Brewster 2 0-0 5, Olivia Waters 4 3-8 11. Totals: 10 3-12 25.
HAMMONDSPORT: LaZell Locey 6 0-0 13, Arielle Szathmary 1 0-0 2, Danica Dresser 8 2-2 18, Sam Pratt 5 0-0 13, Nicole Pratt 2 2-3 6, Alexis Hurd 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 4-5 54.

3-point goals: A/W 2 (Lewis-Ellison, Brewster), Hammondsport 4 (S. Pratt 3, Locey).
Total Fouls: A/W 3, Hammondsport 14. Fouled out: None.

IAABO TOURNAMENT: Finney survives back-and-forth duel with C-R to capture IAABO title, Fillmore uses clutch 2nd half play to win Consolation over Lions

WELLSVILLE — The Allegany County IAABO Tournament’s curtain officially came down in the Lion’s Den, Saturday afternoon. The Consolation and Championship games all came down to the wire in the fourth quarter.

In year’s past, Fillmore and Wellsville have come together for close battles inside and outside of the IAABO Tournament. When the two clashed in the Consolation round of the twinbill, it was no different. With the Eagles clinging to a game-long advantage in the last eight minutes of play, the Lions would keep the pressure on in any way, shape or form they could.

But in the fourth quarter, a scoreless run in the first two minutes of the final frame served as the catalyst for the Eagles of Fillmore to pull away from Wellsville for good, as they used a pair of field goals from Zach Sisson along with a bounty of help at the charity stripe to cement the advantage permanently to end their tenure at the annual tournament on a high note with a 56-48 win over the Lions.

“We have had a lot of great games with Wellsville the last few years, and we have had chances to win, but have never been able to put games away,” said Eagles coach Randy Crouch. “Today was another tough game, and we struggled early boxing out and rotating on defense. We were better in the second half, and we made the plays we needed to down the stretch on both ends. Jonah (Bialek) and Zach really led the way for us, as per usual. JD (Bialek) continued his solid post play. Cam (Mucher) and Layton (Sanasith) made huge plays in the final few minutes to help close it out. Today was our fifth road game in 10 days to open the season. We get a few days off to work on shoring up our defense, and then get our home opener next week.”

The race was on between both the Eagles and Lions, starting with a six-point Fillmore (3-2) that was diminished towards the end of the frame by the assistance of JJ Howard for the hosts in black and orange with five straight points himself to end the frame with a 17-14 lead.

Howard would advance forward and pick up where he left off for Wellsville (0-3) with another captaining effort to aid in taking the offense’s lead behind his runs to the rim to put them within a pair of the Eagles. But just as quick, a long three, along with an and-one play from Jonah Bialek, extended the lead for Fillmore back out to seven approaching halfway.

Both teams would continue to deliver jabs to close out the first half, but after back-to-back baskets underneath the rim from Ty Vogel and Aiden Cowburn, the Lions were able to build a burst of momentum going into the locker room, trimming the deficit to six.

In the third quarter, the Lions would get to within a single possession behind Vogel’s guidance, as he scored the team’s first five points to start the new half, including a triple from inside the left wing. In between the scores, Campbell Mucher sank a lay-in for Fillmore’s opening tally in the third quarter to keep the driver’s seat occupied for the team in white and green.

Momentum would start to sway in Fillmore’s favor after they sped up their course of action with six consecutive points to increase their advantage to nine over Wellsville right before a massive charge was drawn by Ethan Bailey to allow the seesaw to tilt in their direction, trimming the deficit down to a single possession.

After some shots at the charity stripe were made at the buzzer off a Wellsville foul, it would kickstart a run that the Eagles went on to never look back from, as they scored nine straight points — seven of them to start the last eight minutes of the game, to storm off towards victory that awaited in the end, finishing their tenure at the IAABO Tournament strong.

Sisson would lead all scorers on the floor for the Eagles with a team-leading 20 points. Campbell Mucher recorded 12 points, while JD Bialek chipped in with 10. For Wellsville, JJ Howard paced the attack with 21 game-high points. Aiden Cowburn followed with 11 points, while Ty Vogel finished with nine.

As for the game to finish off the tournament, it was a true back-and-forth duel between C.G. Finney and Cuba-Rushford all the way to the bitter end of their championship clash. Both teams were side-by side and stride-for-stride with one another right into the fourth quarter, with the Falcons claiming a three-point edge over the Rebels.

Cuba-Rushford remained hot on their trail, but the emergence of Ethan Krogg for C.G. Finney paid massive dividends down the line, as he knocked down back-to-back triples while the defense aided the efforts by forcing multiple turnovers against their opposition to fuel their line of attack, using all of the elements to blend together an IAABO Tournament Championship at the end of the day with a 53-45 victory.

“I was very happy with our effort. Finney is a solid team and they are hard to guard,” said Rebels coach Pat Wight. “They shot the ball very well, and they made some winning plays we weren’t able to make. Anytime you can play two quality games and teams this early in the season, it’s great experience we can gain for the rest of the season. Hopefully, we can learn from this and continue to grow as a team. “

The back-and-forth duel set in quickly in the opening quarter when the Rebels (3-1) bucketed the first five points of the game behind the lead of Finn Ricketts and Peyton Joy. A short time later, the Falcons bounced back with eight of the next 10 points after navigating their way through openings in the Cuba-Rushford defense.

With the game working its way towards an 11-11 tie, the Falcons overcame a slow start in the early stages and redirected it in favor of a buzzer-beating finish in the opening quarter behind an Xavier Owens pass from center to Ethan Krogg in the wing, sinking a triple to propel them into the 14-11 lead.

The momentum carried onwards into the second quarter when the Falcons bucketed seven straight points to branch their lead out. Since then, a back-and-forth duel settled in once again, one that would allow the team in green and yellow to maintain their lead all the way to the end of the half.

Trailing by as much as seven at one point, the deficit for the Rebels was cut down to a pair after three triples in their first four possessions of the second half — two from the hand of Luke Brooks and one from Braeden Wight.

It would be as close as the Rebels would get to the Falcons across the second half, as C.G. Finney kept their advantage intact for good after a powerful finish to the third quarter from another Krogg triple and a wide-open run to the rim from Owens.

In the fourth, the rest laid on the shoulders of Krogg, who reignited his hot hand by sinking two more triples on back-to-back possessions to give the Falcons their largest lead of the night, and then some, as they finished off the win for good to claim the IAABO title.

Leading the scoring for Cuba-Rushford was Peyton Joy who had a 16-point, 11-point double-double. Kaden Bell and Luke Brooks each followed behind with 10 points, while Finn Ricketts grabbed eight boards off the glass.

Listed below are the next games on the docket for all three Allegany County participants, after the weekend:

Cuba-Rushford: vs. Bolivar-Richburg at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, next Saturday 10:30 p.m.

Fillmore: vs. Friendship/Scio, Friday 7:30 p.m.

Wellsville: at Allegany-Limestone, Thursday 7:30 p.m.

Consolation

Fillmore 17 14 11 14 – 56

Wellsville 14 11 11 12 – 48

FILLMORE: Eben Schilke 1 0-0 3, Campbell Mucher 3 5-6 12, Layton Sanasith 0 3-4 3, Zach Sisson 6 7-9 20, Jonah Bialek 3 2-3 8, JD Bialek 5 0-0 10. Totals: 18 17-22 56.
WELLSVILLE: Aiden Cowburn 4 0-0 11, Karson Grover 0 0-2 0, JJ Howard 10 0-0 21, Ty Vogel 4 0-0 9, Ethan Bailey 1 0-0 2, Alex Green 2 1-3 5. Totals: 21 1-5 48.

3-point goals: Fillmore 3 (Schilke, Mucher, Sisson), Wellsville 5 (Cowburn 3, Howard, Vogel).
Total Fouls: Fillmore 10, Wellsville 15. Fouled out: None.

Championship

C.G. Finney 14 12 13 14 – 53

Cuba-Rushford 11 10 15 9 – 45

FINNEY: Mikey Crandall 4 0-0 9, Brealen Broome 3 2-2 9, Ethan Krogg 8 0-0 20, Ethan Snavely 1 0-0 2, Xavier Owens 5 3-6 13. Totals: 21 5-8 53.
CUBA-RUSHFORD: Braeden Wight 1 0-0 3, Kaden Bell 5 0-0 10, Luke Brooks 4 0-0 10, Finn Ricketts 3 0-0 6, Peyton Joy 6 3-4 16. Totals: 19 3-4 45.

3-point goals: Finney 6 (Krogg 4, Crandall, Broome), C-R 4 (Brooks 2, Wight, Joy).
Total Fouls: Finney 6, C-R 12. Fouled out: None.

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